Vietnam ’s exports to the Republic of Korea (RoK) in the first ten months of 2011 recorded an impressive year-on-year growth of over 60 percent to 3.86 billion USD.

Experts attributed the sharp increase of Vietnamese exports to the RoK to commitments in the ASEAN-RoK Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA).

Commodities that enjoyed high export growths included garment, footwear, woodwork, confectionary, seafood and coffee.

According to the Vietnam General Department of Customs, by the end of October, Vietnam ’s garment exports to the RoK had reached 700 million USD, representing a record year-on-year increase of 140 percent.

The figure is expected to hit 800 million USD for the whole year, making the RoK the fourth largest importer of Vietnamese garment products, after the US , the EU and Japan .

Seafood is also one of Vietnam ’s strong point in the RoK market with an export turnover of 345 million USD, up over 38 percent. The RoK is now the largest mollusk importer of Vietnam .

Vietnam sees a bigger opportunity for fruit and vegetable exports to the RoK. In the ten-month period, Vietnam earned 15.5 million USD from exporting banana, pineapple, dragon fruit, sweet mango, durian and canned and dried fruits to this market, doubling the figure of the same period last year.

With these favourable developments, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said Vietnam ’s export value to the RoK will exceed 5 billion USD this year.

The RoK is now Vietnam ’s fourth largest trade partner, after China , the US and Japan . Two-way trade between the two countries increased from 500 million USD in 1992 to 13 billion USD in 2010. The figure is expected to surpass 20 billion USD by 2015./.